On August 27, 1990 the world lost one of the greatest guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Vaughan was just beginning to hit his stride when tragedy struck 25 years ago today. Vaughan had just wrapped up a show with Eric Clapton at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin on the night of August 26. Shortly before 1 a.m. on August 27 Vaughan had boarded a helicopter with Eric Clapton’s agent, bodyguard and assistant tour manager. The helicopter, one of four that was charted from East Troy, Wisconsin to Chicago, attempted to fly over a 1,000-foot ski hill, but the helicopter that Vaughan was on did not make it.
Shortly after take-off the Bell 206B Jet Ranger veered left and crashed into the hill, just 50 feet from the summit. All aboard died instantly. After several hours of searching, an air patrol finally located the crash site in the early hours of August 27. Later that day Eric Clapton and Jimmie Vaughan, older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, confirmed the identities.
Vaughan was buried on August 30 in Dallas with more than 4,500 in attendance. Clapton, Jackson Browne, Stevie Wonder and members of ZZ top were among the attendees. A year later Vaughans album “The Sky is Crying” was released with 10 previously recorded songs including a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s, “Little Wing.” It was the last album released with Double Trouble.
Vaughan left the world his gift in music and has since become a legend. Although his life was tragically cut short, what he left behind will continue to live on forever in rock history.